University of Pittsburgh
July 7, 2016

Racial Justice in Today’s Universities

National experts convene for daylong institute July 12, on the heels of major Supreme Court decision

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—The Supreme Court of the United States two weeks ago affirmed that university admissions offices can take race into consideration in order to ensure a diverse student body.

That case and overall efforts to reduce racial disparities in higher education will be discussed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 12 at a Summer Institute at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems, 20th floor, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

“Diversity and Racial Justice in the 21st Century University” will convene a panel of national experts in a morning discussion. Those national leaders will hold breakout sessions in the afternoon. Attendees must pay $149 for registration, and six continuing-education credits are available.

Keynote speaker Kedra Ishop is the former director of admissions at The University of Texas at Austin, the school at the heart of the recently decided Supreme Court case. Ishop is the associate vice president for enrollment management at the University of Michigan.

The day’s agenda can be found here.

“From the Supreme Court decision to the growing number of student protests, we’ve seen that how we manage racial issues at higher-education institutions is of extreme important to our mission and to our constituents,” said James Huguley, event organizer and assistant professor of social work at Pitt. “We’ve collected some of the best researchers and practitioners to speak to best practices in access, retention, and the success of students and faculty members of color.”

The court case involved plaintiff Abigail Fisher, a White woman who was denied admission to UT Austin in 2008. She sued, claiming the school discriminated against her based on her race. But UT Austin guarantees admission to top students in every high school in the state, a group of which Fisher was not a member. The remaining students are considered under standards that include academic grades and other factors, including race and ethnicity. The High Court upheld that part of the admissions practice as constitutional.

For more information on the Summer Institute, contact Marita Johnson at 412-624-7382.